Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Oh Snap! - Government Cracks Down on Soft Drinks

Gabrielle Lehotay
Staff Writer

Say goodbye to the lunchtime sugar rush. Snapple is no longer served in lunchroom cafeterias because of the new health law passed by the federal government.
Back in 2010, President Obama had signed into law the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act. The wellness policies and free lunch access the act enforced came just after the Federal Government passed a new group of laws enforced by the USDA themselves that required the food that schools served to be healthier.  
While these laws have been in place for over four years already, its effect on the public has seemed minimal so far. This though is really due to Michelle Obama having spent the past few years focusing on the private sector, where she’s been building relationships and business agreements with the big food companies and their retailers, getting them to agree to her initiative to put healthier food into schools. Now, the last four years of effort are starting to show.
Three big beverage companies, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Dr Pepper Snapple Group, have finally buckled to the new taxes imposed on them. This included a one-cent-per-ounce tax on sugar sweetened drinks in New York and a two-cent-per-ounce tax on sugar sweetened drinks in Philadelphia. 
Because of the pressure this was putting on these companies, they have decided to come together in a three-year partnership to cut down on the number of unhealthy drinks sent into schools. 
This effort has already led to an 88% decrease in calories from beverages put into schools since 2004. This ‘Clean on Calories’ initiative also makes companies put the calories on the front of the bottle in an effort to help kids become more aware of what they’re eating.
This will be a drastic drop in income for these companies who in the past had made millions of dollars a year selling in schools to kids, but under the pressure of taxes and the movement that has taken a huge hold on the country, measures are finally being taken to make the food served in schools healthier.

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